Hi all. Been a bit tied up this past week. I have been unable to sit down and tell you what happened to me on Saturday!
I got a sign from Anthony.
Finally, a bonafide “Mom, I am ok.”
Wow, I am already tearing up just thinking about it all, so let me put pen to paper before I start sobbing.
As many of you know, I began to Lector in my local parish church after Anthony died. I read from the Old and New Testaments and lead the Prayer of the Faithful during 2 masses a month. I enjoy speaking in front of people and honestly, I wanted to do something that would help me REMAIN in my faith after his death.
It is very easy to get lost when someone dies and not stay connected to faith (of any kind). I did not sign up to Lector to honor Anthony. I began to serve as a Lector for myself. I grew up in the church, and hoped to find comfort in staying connected.
Church gives me familiar people to talk to, a community, and a feeling I am less alone in the world. Church works for me, personally. Everyone has their own preferences however. Not advocating.
Anyway, I was in Mass and had finished my first two readings. I seated in the designated “Lector and Minister” rows at the front of the congregation, ready for my Pastor to begin reading the Gospel, followed by his reflections – the Homily.
The Gospel reading was a quick reading about a tax collector who was corrupt but became repentant, and was forgiven by God for his previous sins.
Short, sweet, to the point.
Onto his Homily.
A discussion on Purgatory and how sinners may not gain immediate entry into Heaven.
We pray on All Souls Day (November 2nd) for those who are in Purgatory that they make their eventual way to Heaven.
Ummmm, Anthony wasn’t necessarily the best person in the world, he sinned more times than I can count, but I worked so hard while he was in Hospital to make sure his sins were forgiven! No way could my son be in Purgatory!
Tears start coming…
All Souls Day is a day to pray for all those who died in past year that they have made a transition to Heaven…
A Transition??? WTHeck??? I had Father Andre, the hospital chaplain, pray with me every day during his 12 days in a coma.
I am sobbing now.
This can’t be!!! Anthony got ashes the day before we took him off life support.
I mean he did a lot of bad and stupid things, but he had such a GOOD heart. My son was worth a trip to Heaven!
For instance, he would offer to drive my elderly neighbors to and from the stores in our town. He would literally stop them on the street and help carry bags to his car and never ask for anything in return.
He loved and fiercely protected his family. He was so devoted to us. His grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, all of us. Especially me. I was his “Ma.” The woman he always opened doors for and told me when I looked “too pretty.”
There I am, in tears and I have to get up and read again in a few minutes.
Pull it together Miranda!!
One of the ministers behind me taps me on shoulder and offers me a tissue. My crying is obvious to my immediate seated neighbors.
I return to the altar. A bit shaky in the knees I begin reading the Prayer of the Faithful. It’s usually 6-8 intentions long and I don’t miss a beat. They’re in a particular order so we pray for those whom the mass is offered at the end.
Darn I skipped 4 and went straight into 5 and 6. Ugh. What do I do?
Wait? Did I read it?
Did I read 4? Oh crap. Just read it and hope you didn’t duplicate yourself Miranda.
“Let us pray…”
Finishing the Prayer I stood at the microphone totally frazzled. Over 200 eyes locked on the Pastor and me. But no one seemed to be looking at me weirdly.
No one seemed to be staring at me wondering why I screwed up.
Whew! Crisis semi-averted.
I need to talk to my Pastor after the mass. I need to speak to him about this Homily. I am disturbed by the thoughts that all the work I tried to do for him may have been for ‘naught.
Of course I know I cannot control God’s plan, but I wanted my son’s sins forgiven. He was a good person and I wanted to know he would be in Heaven with his family. Loved and protected forever.
I need to talk to my Pastor…
Processional concluding the mass is over. We are back in the Sacristy. I can get his attention…. he’s not looking at me, but let me…
“Father can I..”
Just as I utter the words, his attention is diverted to the doorway. Someone else had a scheduled time to see him. Pastor calls him into the Sacristy.
I wasn’t going to get my answer now.
Darn. How can I let this sit?
I am going to have to, I do not want to discuss my son in front of strangers.
Grabbing my purse, I make my way out of the church and over to the memorial wall where my son’s name is permanently etched.
Kissing my hand I place it on his name.
“I love you, I did what I could to get you to Heaven. I don’t want you to be in Purgatory and if there is any more I can do if you are there, I will do it. Know that.”
Yes, yes, I KNOW I CAN’T CONTROL THESE THINGS.
Turning around, I prepare to walk to my car and am stopped in my tracks.
The sky is red.
Not just red, blood red in every direction.
I am stunned. Full-on, mouth hanging open, standing in place like a statue stunned.
Anthony is telling me he is ok! He sent me a red sunset, his favorite and signature color.
The following photos were all taken on my route home. The sky was red in every direction the eye could see:
Anthony was here. Telling me he was ok.
My tears were over for the moment.
I firmly believe he sent me this sign to let me know he made it to Heaven.
All I can do now anyway is believe…
So I will.